Braddock’s Trail

This Easter break I was fortunate enough to spend some time with one of my favorite people.  She was receptive to exploring nearby Braddock’s Trail.  I had no idea this path existed, but I’m so glad to know it now.



The sun was shining when we arrived, and Britt kept asking if I was sure I wanted to do this.  It was about 80F, a surprisingly warm mid April day.  I kept thinking that we were going to be in the woods, but the canopy really hadn’t sprouted yet.  It was decidedly warm.

The trail we chose (there are 5) was the wildflower trail.  It did not disappoint.

We were hiking mostly downhill, the map reminding us of how steep some of the terrain is.  “We will have to climb back up,” she reminded me.  We kept going.

And this was at the end of the trail.


So peaceful.

I tried not to panic on the way back up.  Every so often, I would recognize a long boulder, a carved tree, a painted rock.  It did seem to take much longer to climb back up than it did to climb down.


But we did make it back to the car just before the thunderstorm struck.


The fading rainbow

I can hardly believe that it’s 2016.  In a blink of an eye, it’s here.  I remember when Brittany was born.  In fact, with the birth of each of my children, I played the same game.  This little baby will graduate high school in 2009 (that was Ryan), 2014 (that was Sean), and 2016 (that was Brittany).  It seemed so far away, unimaginable really.  And the older moms all said the same thing.  It will go faster than you can believe.  Don’t blink.  And they were right.

Ryan’s graduation, I thought I would be a blubbery mess.  My first little bird, leaving the nest.  But I guess I had the other two to deal with, and I was so surprised that I shed not one tear as “Pomp and Circumstance” challenged me to lose it.  Distractions are a blessing.

Sean’s graduation was a bit different.  While growing up, he was more involved in sports.  I had a chance to know a few of his many friends.  It was actually exciting to see so many faces and recognize so many names as they marched across the stage to accept their diplomas, their pages of proof that they survived the turmoil that is high school.

Brittany is my baby.  And I can’t believe it’s time for her to graduate.  Here it is, 2016.  Just the thought of her leaving the nest brings tears to my eyes.  She’s kept me very busy – dance lessons and recitals, piano lessons and recitals, softball practices and games, basketball practices and tournaments.  She’s going to college, not very far away, but she won’t be here.  I won’t know what she is doing, where she is.  But I raised her to be herself, to be independent, to fly.  And she will.

I’m not sure what I will do with myself.  Those older moms assure me that I will actually find myself again.  That my husband and I will be best friends again.  The past 25 years have been all about running the kids to all their activities.  Stocking the shelves with all the food they like to eat.  Preparing the meals they love to eat.

The calendar that I had to color code so that I could keep life straight is now a fading rainbow.

The problem is, I can’t remember my life before I had kids.  I’m sure gardening will be a very big part of what I do.  I have neglected the gardens the past few summers.  Thank goodness for perennials!  They have survived even when I wasn’t looking.

For now, I’m helping with the events of her senior year.  It’s flying, though.  The older moms warned me about that!  Helping plan the senior banquet for her Lacrosse team, shopping for gowns and shoes for her senior prom, planning the graduation party.  So much to think about, so much to do.  It’s probably a good thing.

Keeps me from thinking about what I really don’t know.  What is next?

Lazy Lights

My neighbor always shares such interesting news with me.

Have you heard the news about those lazer lights you have shining there on your house?

I always think he’s about to compliment my latest decoration, but no, and woe, he is about to cut them down to size.

They are blinding pilots.

Really?  I try to laugh off the news.  But of course, I had to go search the internet for stories about pilots being blinded by my lights.  I did find one story out of Los Angeles, but it mostly reminded the owners of these star shower lights to be careful where you aim them.

My son rates the neighborhood attempts at decorating for Christmas.  It takes an extra special amount of effort to rate with him.  I got a C+ on my yard this year.  I try, I really try.

Wreaths on all the windows, gold trim on the wreaths to match the gold bows on the evergreens and lamp post.  Green lights enhance the evergreens, lighted packages decorate the spot in front of the tree.  And of course, my “lazy lights” as Sean loves to call them.

I believe the lazy lights are where I went wrong.  He expects some effort in trimming the entire house in lights.  Oh well.

This is my brother’s old sled.  I found this exciting pair of antique ice skates while browsing through a local “repurpose” shop, and decorated them all up for my display.


My brother and I used to ride down the backyard hill in the snow on sleds like this.  We had a great hill that leveled off before it went further down, sort of a double dip hill.  We would gather with the neighborhood kids on that hill – until the day that he and I rode down together.

I was on the back of a plastic toboggan, he was “driving”.  Right into the telephone pole at the bottom.  He yelled “ROLL”, which he did.

I did not hear him.

Christmas Memories – some of them good.  Some not so much.

Here’s hoping your home is filled with good ones this year.


Garden Momma Blues

Working in the yard this weekend, I finally dug out the roots of a former hemlock and planted a small corner garden. I had intended to put in a Japanese maple, and found a weeping variety called Acer palmatum Ryusen.  From what I hear, the leaves will turn bright red in the fall, so I’m now waiting for the show!

As I was putting the garden tools back in the shed, I was delighted to spot a new bloom – a blue hydrangea!

Blue hydrangea – in October!

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He surprised me because the rest of the blooms on this plant this year had been pink.

I was so excited, I ran in to the house to bring my daughter out and show her this beautiful new bloom.  I told her how the science of the soil determines the color of the flowers of the hydrangea. “This stuff really excites you, huh mom?”

She plugged her earphones back into her head and wandered off.  She was less than impressed.